His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain was met by a large number of protesters when he arrived in Catalonia for the first time after the Catalonia crisis last year.
Riot-police had to hold back hundreds of people as the King arrived in Barcelona to attend the Mobile World Congress Technology fair. Senior Catalan officials, including Barcelona Mayoress Ada Colau, refused to attend the formal reception because of the King’s presence. Catalonian has criticised the King for his message of unity during the Catalonia referendum last year.
These protest`s happened at the same time as Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola carried a yellow ribbon in support of the exiled Catalan politicians. Because of this, Guardiola was charged by the Football Association for “wearing a political message”.
The rest of Spain praises their King and polls show that the King has never been more popular than now. According to a poll done by Socio Métrica the survey gives the King a score of 7.2 out of 10. This is the highest score King Felipe has had during his reign. The last time a ruling Spanish monarch had a score this high was in 1995 when Felipe’s father, Juan Carlos, was King.
The crisis in Catalonia has led to the King’s commitment to holding Spain even closer together. The King has stated his opinions on the matter, and last year the King gave a speech where he asked for Spanish unity. In his speech, King Felipe said: “We believe in our country, and we are proud of our democracy which has given us freedom and prosperity. I am committed to defending the unity of Spain.” King Felipe finished off his speech by saying: “To all Catalonians concerned with this aggression against Spanish democracy, my message is clear – you are not alone.”
Early in October, Royal Central’s European Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen predicted that the Spanish monarchy would come out strengthened by the failed independence referendum. As Aanmoen wrote in October last year, “In the recent weeks, Spanish royalists and monarchists have become more visible throughout Spain as a result of the Catalonia referendum. Several pro-Spain demonstrations have been organised – even in Catalonia where people have had Spanish flags with them and pictures of the King.”